The USA has yet to earn an opinion on Dance Music.
Each week The Prophet peers into the future to share his opinion on the state of dance music. You may not agree, you may want to fight and scream, but you will listen. Whose feathers will The Prophet ruffle this week?
Am I a prophet? Quite possibly. Can I see the future? Not really, (although there have been some predictions that have eerily come to pass, however I am no Nostradamus). One thing I do know however, is that you Americans have came to basterdise it. You will not agree with everything I have to say, but you will listen, I will antagonise, and you will have an opinion.
There is one thing that we will always agree on...Music Matters.
It's time for you to listen...
Dance music is evolving, the industry is evolving, and it's almost single handedly as a result of the explosion in dance music across the United States of America. Dance Music has taken off in a huge way in America, it's only taken you 25 years to join the party. What took you so long?
If you consider that the entire modern multi billion dollar dance behemoth was created by counter cultural black DJ's in Detroit and Chicago back in the 70's, it's quite unbelievable that you quickly rejected it. Akin to giving birth and immediately putting your dance music child up for adoption.
It has been said that the US rejected dance music because of its association with homosexuality and drug culture, it's easy to understand why in less liberal times, the thought of men dancing with other men might cause conservatively WASP America to panic, but anyway the US' loss was Europe's gain. Dance music flourished in Europe, Ibiza as we know it today was born and it became the calling card for an entire generation to rebel against what was expected of them and simply get lost in the music.
Flash forward 25 or so years later and America has fallen in love with dance music all over again, but you've a long way to go before you can confidently say you've earned your dance music stripes. Although for better or worse you can lay claim for the explosion of mainstream electronic dance music, which is pretty much the watered down, radio accessible, kiddie version of house music. The US has still a couple of decades to go before you acceptably stamp your imprint on the industry.
The thing is we're not entirely sure if you get it yet. Sure you can lay claim to have the biggest crowds, the brightest, loudest pyrotechnics, the most exclusive VIP sections and the most expensive ticket prices, it all sort of rings hollow to dance music fans across the sea.
Obviously there will be a tinge of jealousy from the perspective of fans across the water, there is no denying that your gigs look fantastic, but we're still under the illusion that you're all style and no substance, because the bigger you make your festivals, the brighter you make your fireworks, the further you move away from the most important aspect, that one thing that brought you together, in harmony. The music.
Multi million pound festivals are not where loyal fans are born, fans are born in the intimate venues, the gritty venues where health and safety is dubious at best, where you can see into the whites of the DJ's eyes, where it truly becomes just you and the DJ.
You might moan and flail your arms in the air saying that huge dance music festivals weren't created by the US but the difference is, Europe has earned the right to host these huge events, the US merely jumped on the bandwagon.
When the current dance music popularity inevitably secedes in the US, (if you consider the SFX implosion, it may have already begun), what will be left? The majority of the DJ's you pay hundreds of pounds to watch are imported, the Techno and trance DJ's you exported want very little to do with your dance music rebirth. You'll be left with the real fans, the loyal fans who have dug out 20 year, three hour underground sets, eager to see what the music sounded like before the US music industry got their money laden hands on it.
Only then will the world see what the evolution of dance in the US has created.
It's also a time of optimism however, because there are fans in the US who will be inspired by the music they're listening to, they will have ideas and sounds that will push dance music on to a higher state of consciousness. This will be your generation of progress.
Dance music fans across the world await with baited breath, the next step in your evolution, where American dance music fans graduate from having a passing interest in a passing phase, to being able to proudly state, “We are dance music fans, and we have earned the right to declare it so”.